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Join the Civil Society Resource Hub (CSR-Hub)

By joining the Civil Society Resource Hub (CSR-Hub), you would be able to push back against the growing repression of the civil society space.

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    Context

    For many years, civil society organizations in West Africa have contended with the effects of an increasingly closed civic space either through legislative and policy actions or through the propagation of unhealthy and restrictive narratives.

    Spaces for Change | S4C, with the support of Ford Foundation, is delighted to announce the launch of the West Africa Civil Society Resource Hub.

    The Hub will deliver bespoke trainings, learning exchanges, digital protection, compliance guidance, civic space monitoring and capacity-building on specific subjects such as extractive justice and defending the civic space.

    We are inviting applications from civil society organizations, human right defenders, media organizations and the academia interested in addressing specific organizational gaps and attaining measurable improvements in institutional performance in these areas.

    The services offered by the West Africa Civil Society Resource Hub forms part of a broader strategy to push back against the growing repression on the civil society space by strengthening organizations to build organisational resilience, integrity, effectiveness and sustainability.

    About the Civil Society Resource Hub (CSR-Hub)

    The Civil Society Resource Hub, supported by Ford Foundation, is a resource centre dedicated to enhancing the effectiveness and resilience of civil society organizations operating in restricted circumstances and environments in the West African sub-region, especially in Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal.

    The Hub’s four strategic pillars aim to build organizational resilience to push back against the shrinking civil society space in the following areas:

    Under this pillar, the Hub will empower civil society organizations in West Africa to ward off governmental restrictions and targeted attacks from state and non-state actors by attaining significant improvements in regulatory compliance.

    Series of group and personalized compliance clinics, trainings, learning exchanges and technical support services have been lined up under this pillar to enable non-compliant organizations overcome challenges associated with regulatory compliance. 

    At the end of the program, participating organizations would be able to constitute effective and inclusive boards, convene board meetings, install strong internal controls, obtain necessary registration certificates, and file annual returns with relevant regulatory bodies.

    Capitalizing on the advancement in information and communication technologies, civic actors are increasingly, congregating online, taking advantage of the social media platforms and hashtags (#) to ask critical questions about democratic governance, campaigning for good governance, reforms, corporate accountability, and numerous causes.

    With this growing transition to digital activism and online mass action, an equal need for digital security consciousness has become imperative.

    Under this pillar, civic groups and organizations will benefit from group seminars and customized trainings designed to increase their capacity to confront digital and surveillance threats negatively impacting their work by implementing cybersecurity and data protection controls, and also learn from others’ experiences of preventing and mitigating cyberattacks.

    Participants will benefit from these five areas of strategic focus:

    1. Online safety for bloggers, journalists, human rights defenders (HRDs)
    2. Data protection for civil society organizations
    3. Understanding/Mitigating risks of investigative journalism
    4. Whistleblowing safely
    5. Rapid response mechanisms in West Africa
    6. Social protection mechanisms in West Africa

    State-sanctioned clampdowns on the activities of civil society actors take the form of internet shut-downs, press censorship, online surveillance, arrests and detention of critics and dissenters, proscription of self-determination agitations, fines, office raids, equipment/device seizures, negative labelling and the propagation of unhealthy narratives about civil society groups and leaders.  Consequently, the civic space has consistently dangled between obstructed and repressed. Under this pillar, civic actors and organizations in the subregion operating in very restrictive conditions will find it easier to get help such as unhindered access to technical support, social protection, customized services, didactic convenings and peer mentoring. Not only that, sustained incident tracking, trends mapping and analysis, civic space outlooks and country rankings will give off early warning signals, resources and rapid response levers needed to confront the underlying drivers of shrinking civic space in the subregion.

    It is almost impossible to run an effective campaign to defend the civic space or for the accountability of natural resource wealth without data and evidence extracted from rigorous research. Borne out of the need to curate more home-grown data on the civic space and for extractive justice, this pillar focuses on building the capacity of civil society and grassroot organizations working in the subregion to conduct research and build solid evidence that can be trusted and acted upon by policymakers, governments and corporations. Group and personalized research clinics have been developed to mobilize strategic knowledge-sharing in a way that also builds capabilities and effectiveness among human rights agents.

    For many years, civil society organizations in West Africa have contended with the effects of an increasingly closed civic space either through legislative and policy actions or through the propagation of unhealthy and restrictive narratives.

    Spaces for Change | S4C, with the support of Ford Foundation, is delighted to announce the launch of the West Africa Civil Society Resource Hub.

    The Hub will deliver bespoke trainings, learning exchanges, digital protection, compliance guidance, civic space monitoring and capacity-building on specific subjects such as extractive justice and defending the civic space.

    We are inviting applications from civil society organizations, human right defenders, media organizations and the academia interested in addressing specific organizational gaps and attaining measurable improvements in institutional performance in these areas.

    The services offered by the West Africa Civil Society Resource Hub forms part of a broader strategy to push back against the growing repression on the civil society space by strengthening organizations to build organisational resilience, integrity, effectiveness and sustainability.

    Organizations eligible to apply must meet the following criteria:

    • Must be operating in Nigeria, Ghana or Senegal
    • Must be an organization or network of organizations registered with a federal or state authority in their country of operation.
    • Must have a stable leadership and have a demonstrable commitment to change.
    • Must have been operating for the past 12 months, and has at least two staff /volunteers and a probability of success, following the Hub’s support.
    • Must be operating in an environment where civic space is narrow, obstructed or repressed.
    • Demonstrable need for any of the four learning pillars of the program.
    • Willingness to institutionalise learning outcomes in one year or less and present a letter of commitment to that effect if accepted into the program.
    • Willingness to mentor subsequent beneficiaries upon their exit from the program.

    Selection Criteria

    Organizations eligible to apply must meet the following criteria:

    Must have a base of operation in Nigeria, Ghana or Senegal.

    Must be an organization registered with a federal or state authority.

    Must have a stable leadership and have a demonstrable commitment to change.

    Must have been operating for the past 12 months, and has at least two staff /volunteers.

    Must be operating in an environment where civic space is narrow, obstructed or repressed.

    Evaluation Criteria

    Applications would be evaluated based on the following:

    Demonstrable need for any of the four learning pillars of the program.

    Willingness to institutionalise learning outcomes in one year or less and present a letter of commitment to that effect if accepted into the program.

    Willingness to mentor subsequent beneficiaries upon their exit from the program.

    Join the Civil Society Resource Hub (CSR-Hub)